Fox News' "fair and balanced" discussion about today's March for Our Lives turned into a whataboutism whine about the anti-abortion March for Life. There was some dissembling, too.
Fox host Elizabeth Prann set up the framing with her first question: "I do want to talk about messaging. ... This is supposed to be a gun reform rally but we're seeing a lot of anger ... targeted at the NRA. Is the message cohesive today?" As if Fox would ever worry about such a thing at a conservative rally.
Guest Josh Schwerin supported the students but, as I've come to expect with Democrats on Fox, did not call our Fox's obvious bias in asking such a question. As Schwerin noted the NRA's influence in Trump's flip flop on gun control, Prann interrupted to get the views of her other guest, conservative Bre Payton.
Payton wasted no time insisting that the students think "banning guns is going to magically stop violent crime." In fact, the students want to ban assault rifles and regulate guns, not ban all guns. But Prann did not correct her.
But after Payton gave the teens a compliment, saying she thought it "wonderful" to see so many kids engaged in civic action, she began her whataboutism whine: "I've gone to the March for Life for so many years now and crowd sizes have been the same in years past and yet the coverage difference has been very different."
FACT CHECK: Today's march drew much bigger crowds. Approximately 800,000 were in Washington, D.C. and more than one million partook nationally, according to USA Today. The biggest March for Life, on the other hand, drew 650,000 and that was in 2013. In 2018, only 150,000 were expected in Washington. But again, Prann did not correct the record. Nor did Schwerin speak up about the deception.
Watch the whataboutism below, from the March 24, 2018 America's News HQ.
I, too, find it ironic that young people had to be 21 years of age to buy a beer, a glass of wine, or a pistol but it was OK for them to buy a weapon of mass destruction.
A tad begrudgingly (for I know how loyal FL politicans are to the NRA), I commend them for passing that law. A small step, but a step nonetheless. The power unleashed by the kids is clearly scaring the bejezzus out of them.
That is a good point about the news peg for the March for Our Lives. However, I do think it was a bit ridiculous to whine about the coverage of the March for Life five years ago. Also, I do not think it was quite so national as Saturday’s march was. I also suspect that the March for Life did not have the same kind of celebrity participation.
Oh, you mean like when people on the right went to rallies wearing shirts that said, “It’s the WHITE House…” and “F*ck your feelings if you didn’t vote for Trump…”
No… no anger at conservative rallies. Sorry Fox, anger = passion, and the country circled the wagons yesterday. Are you in the circle or out of it…? Spin it all you want; the tide is turning and we’re going to take the country back from the 1950s mentality that the GOP is stuck trying to defend…
What the curvy couch spinners are ignoring is the newsworthiness of the topic. These mass demonstrations come on the heels of another head-line grabbing school mass shooting. So it’s all not just about head count though I – hold onto your britches – think an anti-abortion rally counting heads over one hundred thousand in our nation’s capital deserves reasonable live coverage from 24/7 cable channels.
I wouldn’t expect coverage as big for a generic anti-abortion rally (or any subject) unless it was in response to an event that like Parkland grabbing our nation’s consciousness. To fabricate an example, pretend the Dems were in control and passed a very controversial abortion on demand law that dominated the news cycle and conservatives came out in droves to protest. Yes, that might merit Parkland-like live coverage.
I watched many hours of live Fox coverage Saturday – yes, I have no life (actually, I’m recovering from a severe illness) – and the most disturbing thing to me was the spin. Certainly, the talking heads they brought in for analysis came across as NRA shills who, while walking a bit of a tightrope as to not appear insensitive to the victims, painted the rallies as anti-2nd Amendment gun-grabbers. Worse, the ‘fair and balanced’ hosts and on-scene reporters unsurprisingly parroted the same conservative talking points. This is even after playing the speech of one of the student leaders and playing an interview with him where he emphasized he was for specific gun control and was supportive of the 2nd Amendment and the right to own firearms in general. The man-on-the-street interviews of student protesters were articulate and none came across as crazed gun-grabbers (Fox’s stereotype).
Fox News ‘reporters’ and anchors also tried to kindle conspiracy theories to undermine the legitimacy of the protests. For example, they kept pointing out the rallies were well organized and well financed. This allowed them to question who was funding/organizing these students implying it was all a liberal anti-2nd Amendment set-up manipulating them. Odd that a news network wouldn’t put a reporter on this but, I suspect, Fox already knows this isn’t tied to their bogeyman Soros so they’d rather speculate to feed their spin.